Plus, it's Christmas themed all year round!
Many cities and towns are given a moniker for obvious reasons, be it a geographic description or the name of a founder. Some towns, though, have a little bit of myth behind their name. One such story involves the town of Santa Claus, Indiana.
According to folklore, in 1856, with the Christmas season quickly approaching, a small community of people in southern Indiana applied for a post office to be built under the name Santa Fe. To the townspeople’s surprise, the application was returned stating that the name Santa Fe, Indiana was already taken. Weeks later on a cold December night in a small church, they debated alternative names for the town. A gust of wind abruptly swung the door open and bells could be heard ringing in the distance. Inside a child excitedly shouted, “It’s Santa Claus!”
The post office eventually opened, and today it receives thousands of handwritten letters to Santa each December. A group of dedicated volunteers, cleverly known as Santa’s Elves, respond to them.
The town’s claim to fame is Holiday World, a theme park open from April to October with more than 1 million annual visitors. But during the first three weekends of December, the city of 2,500 residents hosts an array of events to help both tourists and locals get into the holiday spirit. I spent a weekend exploring the town and taking advantage of as many events as I could pack into my schedule. I had dinner with Santa, sorted wish lists from children around the world, watched the parade, saw a choir performance and a Scrooge’s Christmas play, and spent time with locals who seem to never get sick of hearing Christmas music.